Seller Consultations Before Listing


Seller Consultations Are a Vital Part of the Listing Process

Seller Consultation
A Seller Consultation prior to listing

A seller consultation before listing to analyze current market conditions is a must.  A fellow realtor who specializes in short sales commented to me recently that he is fielding over 200 calls a month from home owners who are upside down (owe more than the sales value). Many homes purchased  between 2005 and 2010 (even back to 2002 in some cases) were leveraged with small down payments and are now putting sellers in a position of low or no equity.

Sheridan and Thomas are aware that they may be in just this scenario. We are meeting regularly to lay out a strategy. In our first consultation we went over the total market overview and then did a tour of their house to list repairs that need to be addressed prior to marketing the property. We then met about 3 months later and did a quick review of the total market overview, talked about the projects that were completed and addressed the projects that still need to be done.

A couple of months later we had another consultation precipitated by new activity in their subdivision. We wanted to discuss the possibility of putting their home on the market over the holidays and piggyback onto the activity created by the new listings. Our first step was looking at the homes for sale, under contract and sold in their subdivision. We looked at the price per square foot, the amenities, garages, updates, etc. We scrutinized the pictures. We guestimated our price point.

St Louis Market Overview October 21, 2013
St Louis Market Overview
October 21, 2013

Then we looked at the total market overview in 2 price points. For example, in the $200,000 to $249,999 price point there are 281 homes on the market and 31.3% of all listings in that range are under contract.  In the next higher price range, there are less homes on the market but the percentage under contrace is just a bit higher.  Looking at the months of inventory (absorption rate), it is on the edge of being a normal market in both price points (months it would take to sell all of the homes currently listed).

This analysis sent us back to look more closely at the homes that had sold in the last six months in our specific market place/location. We looked at all of the amenities, item by item, in the homes that most closely resembled our home. We took a picture of the kitchen in our home, looked at it on the ipad to see what it would look like online.
Whoa, Sheridan said, “What can we do?” Umm, the kitchen needs a plan with a strict budget.
This shows what can be done on a small budget with a little bit of ingenuity:  remove the cabinet doors and paint the cabinets black.  Source is HGTV.

Black painted kitchen cabinets
Stay in the budget with paint

We then looked at the days on market to set our expectations. Another statistic we reviewed was the ten year history of homes sales, month by month, in St Louis County. This helped us in determining a pattern and expectations.

This may seem tedious and time consuming but it is definitely the most important step to achieving a successful sale. Knowing the current market real estate market conditions helped Thomas and Sheridan make their decision to wait.  Even though the overall market overview showed a normal market, it was definitely a buyer’s market in their area.

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